Coronavirus updates: CDC issues stricter guidance for Thanksgiving

"Celebrate with people in your household," the agency says in updated guidance.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.2 million people worldwide.

Over 50.4 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks. The criteria for diagnosis -- through clinical means or a lab test -- has also varied from country to country.

Nearly 200 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.


Cases, deaths see major increase over last week


The U.S. saw a jump in coronavirus cases and deaths over the last week, according to a memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services obtained by ABC News.

From Nov. 2-8, 730,925 new cases were confirmed, representing a 29.2% increase from the previous seven-day period, according to the memo. During that same time period, there were 6,654 deaths, which represented a 15.1% increase from the previous week, HHS said.

The national test-positivity rate increased to 8.6% from 7.2% in week-to-week comparisons, and 24% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled, the memo said.

-ABC News' Josh Margolin


CDC issues stricter guidance for Thanksgiving

The Centers for Disease Control is advising Americans to keep their Thanksgiving plans small in updated guidance on its website.

"The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household. If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, take steps to make your celebration safer," the agency said.

The CDC also provided more specific guidance for households over the holiday.

Guests should consider bringing their own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils, and avoid going into places where food is prepared, according to the agency.

Hosts should make sure their home is sanitized and consider having the windows open if they are eating indoors, the CDC said.

"If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils," the agency said.

-ABC News' Stephanie Ebbs


FDA approves new treatment for milder cases

The FDA has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients.

The treatment, from Eli Lilly and Company, was shown in trials to reduce hospitalization for patients who are at high risk for disease progression within 28 days after treatment when compared to placebo, the agency said in a press release.

Bamlanivimab is not authorized for patients who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 or require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, the FDA said.

"The issuance of an EUA is different than FDA approval,"  the FDA said in a statement. "In determining whether to issue an EUA, the FDA evaluates the available evidence and carefully balances any known or potential risks with any known or potential benefits of the product for use during an emergency."

-ABC News' Eric Strauss



Fauci says he has no intention of leaving after Jan. 20

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he has no intention of leaving his post after President-elect Joe Biden assumes office.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases declined to talk about the election during an interview with CNN Monday evening, but said he plans on staying in his position next year.

"I have no intention of leaving," he said. "This is an important job. I've been doing it now for a very long time. I've been doing it under six presidents. It's an important job and my goal is to serve the American public no matter what the administration is."




Fauci complimented the members of the new Biden/Harris COVID-19 task force, saying they're established colleagues that he admires and has worked with for years.

In the meantime, Fauci warned that Americans need to heed the health warnings and guidance in place as cases continue to rise across the country. Although Fauci called Pfizer's announcement of its vaccine progress "extraordinary," he said people need to remain cautious.

"This is something that we should really feel good about," he said of the vaccine news. "But I want to make sure people understand that it's good because we know there is light at the end of the tunnel, but that doesn't mean that we are going to give up the important public health measures that we continually still have to do every single day."

-ABC News' Stephanie Ebbs